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 Michigan REALTOR E-News 

 

Michigan Realtors® Issues Mobilization Fund:
Why it was created, and why it is important to you

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Over the last several years, The Issues Mobilization Fund (IMF) has evolved into one of the most versatile and important advocacy tools at your disposal. The IMF has been utilized to:

  • Pass two statewide ballot proposals – notching victories to strengthen protections against eminent domain protection and eliminating the personal property tax.
  • The IMF has also been used to successfully fight against detrimental and overreaching local sign, septic, and rental ordinances that impact Realtors® day-to-day business.
  • Develop legislation to help the industry such as the Commercial Broker Lien Act (Public Act 201 of 2010) and the Agency Responsibility Act (Public Act 91 of 2008).
  • Successfully advocate for the election of two Realtor® members to the state legislature, and elect Realtor® champions to Michigan’s Supreme Court through independent expenditure campaigns.

Now that 2017 dues billing is beginning, you will notice an increase in your IMF assessment from the previous years’ $3, to $40. This increase was approved by the Michigan Realtors® Board of Directors and Delegate Body (a statewide committee made up of two representatives from each local association) to effectively address the growing advocacy threats to our industry. With an increasing number of threats to our industry and private property rights, current funding levels would have been significantly depleted by 2018.

To better explain the IMF and its past success, Michigan Realtors® has developed a frequently asked questions, fund comparison chart, and infographic. 

The IMF materials can be found here

In addition, Michigan Realtors® is proud to announce the roll-out of a new Issues Mobilization Hotline to alert the state association of emerging issues affecting your business. The hotline number is 517-252-4549.
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Xplode RE Tech Conference | Novi | $20 Savings Ends Tonight
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Watch New Government Affairs Videocast
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Watch the June edition of the Michigan Realtors® Government Affairs Videocast. Get the latest news and updates on issues impacting the real estate industry.

Watch Now 

Watch Past Videocasts
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RPR: Help Your Seller See the Light on a Realistic List Price 
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What Realtor® hasn’t felt challenged during pricing discussions with homeowners in a similar situation? And why wouldn’t an average homeowner expect to earn a return on home improvements?

Thankfully, there is a common ground when it comes to landing on a solid listing price. Here are five proven tools and techniques for guiding your seller in the right direction.

Read more
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Legal Lines – Offer & Acceptance Edition
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With the help of McClelland & Anderson, we are taking the most recently asked questions from our legal hotline and putting them in E-news.

QUESTION: I represent the seller as a listing broker. An offer came in from another office but my seller is currently out of town and cannot be reached. The seller authorized me via telephone to accept the offer on my seller's behalf. Is this an enforceable contract?

ANSWER: NO. A broker cannot sign a binding purchase agreement on behalf of a buyer or seller unless he has explicit written authority to do so. This authorization is legally known as a power of attorney. Verbal authority over the telephone would NOT be sufficient. A listing agreement by itself does not give the broker authority to bind his/her principal to a contract for the sale of land.

QUESTION: My buyer client made a written offer on a house listed by another company. The listing agent told me that he had called his seller and that the seller had accepted my client’s offer. I never received a written acceptance and I have since found out that the seller entered into a contract with another buyer. My buyer believes that he should get the house because of the verbal acceptance of his offer. Is he correct?

ANSWER: NO. The statute of frauds requires that a contract for the sale of real estate be in the form of a signed written document in order to be enforceable. Since the so-called acceptance came through verbal communications between the seller, the listing agent, and the buyer’s agent and was never reduced to a signed writing, the contract is unenforceable.

QUESTION: The seller accepted my buyer's offer using an electronic signature. My buyer is insisting that that the seller manually sign the purchase contract form. Is my buyer client required to accept an electronic signature?

ANSWER: NO. Electronic signatures are permitted only if both parties agree to the use of electronic signatures. Often a purchase agreement form includes a specific provision stating that the parties agree to conduct business electronically. If a party using such a form does not wish to conduct business electronically, this provision should be deleted.

QUESTION: If parties agree to the use of electronic signatures, is an email sufficient? 

ANSWER: IT DEPENDS. A valid electronic signature is any mark "logically associated" with a contract that the person intends as a signature. An electronic signature could include a scanned copy of a handwritten signature or a digitally generated signature. The law is not settled on whether an email or text containing a person's name constitutes an electronic signature. In the event of a dispute over the validity of such a "signature," a court would be faced with trying to determine the intent of the party sending the email or text. It is often difficult to prove intent after the fact. There are a number of different commercial services available which have procedures in place designed to establish a clear record that the party using the service intended to sign the document electronically.

QUESTION: I am a real estate salesperson representing a buyer. We submitted an offer on a home to the listing agent and 2 days later the listing agent sent me a text message indicating that his seller had accepted my buyer’s offer. Later that same day I received another text from the listing agent stating that the seller had decided to go with a better offer. My buyer is angry and believes the seller accepted the contract through the text message. Am I correct?

ANSWER: NO. Since it is a contract for the sale of real estate, the statute of frauds requires there to be a signed writing in order to have an enforceable contract. A text message from the listing broker notifying you that the seller has accepted the offer would not satisfy this requirement. It has no more effect than if the listing broker had called and told you the seller had accepted your client’s offer. (If there had been a text message directly from the seller stating “I accept,” your buyer would have a better argument, particularly if the purchase contract expressly provided for electronic signatures.)

For more Legal Q&A, visit the new Legal Resources Web site.
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College Scholarships Available – Applications Due July 1st
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The Michigan Realtors® Scholarship Trust fund provides scholarships to full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are taking classes that will lead them to a real estate career. Do you know an eligible student? Applications are due by July 1, 2016.

Learn Requirements and Apply
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Featured Member Benefit: E&O Insurance
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As a leader in the insurance industry for nearly 60 years and a long time partner of the Michigan Realtors®, Pearl Insurance is proud to share with you our quality Errors & Omissions Insurance, which offers valuable coverage that's better and more affordable than ever before. As a Pearl Insurance insured, you'll gain access to our quality Real Estate Errors & Omissions Insurance as well as:

  • Extensive risk management tools and services
  • Superior customer service
  • Proactive claims handling and assistance by the experienced XL claims staff
  • Expert defense against a claim from your state's dedicated panel counsel
Receive a Michigan Real Estate E&O Insurance Quote and choose to bind coverage or renew your policy.
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In This Issue:
  
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Xplode Conference
June 10, 2016
Suburban Collection Showplace
Novi
Webinar: Getting Started with RPR®
July 21, 2016
2:00 pm EDT
District Director Candidate Filing Deadline
July 22, 2016
Learn More
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The Convention
October 5-7, 2016
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
Mt. Pleasant
Sponsor/Exhibit

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Real Estate Radio Today: The Safe House
Real Estate Today opens doors for buyers and sellers with critical and credible information on the real estate market. It’s fast paced and fact packed with experts, interviews, call-ins, field reports, and timely market conditions.

Listen to Podcast

 

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